By Aviva Sheen
Florida’s controversial initiative to screen for suspected non-citizens and purge them from the voter rolls is allowed to officially resume, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday.
A Hispanic civil rights group and two naturalized citizens sued last year to block the purge, arguing that it needed to be approved by the federal government because five Florida counties were covered under the Voting Rights Act. After the U.S. Supreme Court tossed out a key section of the law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit had little choice but to dismiss the suit. Secretary of State Ken Detzner (R) said he plans to resume the voter purge.
In 2012, the Department of Justice warned that Florida’s voter purge, which targeted roughly 180,000 people, was illegal, and all of the state’s county election supervisors refused to execute the purge. The lists of flagged individuals — many of whom had Latino-sounding names — also turned out to be largely inaccurate. These flagged individuals would receive notifications in the mail notifying them that they had 30 days to contest the purge.